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Cloudfm CIO Steve Corbett, second left, with University of Essex researchers and business engagement team

University of Essex and Cloudfm join forces to combat Covid-19

To meet the challenge of Covid-19 within the healthcare sector, facilities management provider, Cloudfm, is joining forces with the University of Essex to develop innovative new disinfection services.

The joint research initiative won funding worth £50,000 from Innovate UK following a national research call which attracted 8,600 applications.

Essex researchers will help Cloudfm develop intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) platforms to deliver fast, efficient and automated disinfection systems for re-usable operational items in the hospital environment. This will include personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and monitoring equipment, ventilators and hospital beds.

The project brings together Cloudfm’s facilities management technology with the artificial intelligence and IoT expertise of Dr Faiyaz Doctor and Dr Hossein Anisi from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.

Essex experts will support Cloudfm to develop a system which safely sterilises healthcare equipment such as reusable PPE using ultraviolet light. The intelligent IoT based system will minimise human involvement in the cleaning process, reducing risk to frontline healthcare workers while increasing the availability of PPE and other equipment. The system will be designed so it can be installed easily close to ICU wards.

David Attoe ioT Development Director at Cloudfm said: “We are pleased to have been afforded this opportunity to advance our own developments in IoT to assist the healthcare sector.  We are also delighted to be able to work in partnership with the Essex in our attempt to achieve something positive during these uncertain times.”

Both Cloudfm and Essex have a history of successful research collaboration through Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme. KTPs are Innovate UK’s flagship programme for collaboration, connecting businesses across the UK with expertise and research in our universities and linking them with ambitious graduate talent.

Essex is now one of the top two universities in the UK for the number of Innovate UK-funded projects, and ranks as the leading university in England for KTPs.

Rob Walker Head of Business Engagement said: “We are excited to be adding to the number of challenges we are working with Cloudfm to tackle, particularly through this highly competitive award from innovate UK, which will help the fight against Covid-19 through smarter disinfecting technology. This is one of the many examples of our partners pivoting their products or services at an unprecedented pace – and we are keen to continue to lend our support to business in as many ways as possible in this highly fluid landscape.”

Cloudfm is a leading company within the FM market with internally developed technology. Clients include top brands such as Pizza Express, KFC and Tui. The company has recently taken the decision to brand and sell its own in-house IoT solutions direct to market.

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